HOUSTON, Texas (CBSMiami) — There’s blood in GOP waters and the sharks are circling.READ MORE: Miss USA Asya Branch Could Make History In Sunday's Miss Universe Competition At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino
After the Teflon Don has seemingly been able to avoid heavy attacks during the campaign for president, Donald Trump’s rivals pressed him on his refusal to release his tax returns at Thursday night’s Republican debate at the University of Houston — and it may have hit a nerve.
“As far as my return, I want to file it. Except, for many years, I’ve been audited every year. 12 years or something like that. Every year, they audit me, audit me, audit me,” Trump explained. “I have friends that are very wealthy people, they never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now, for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished. Obviously.”
As “obvious” as it may be, there is no law preventing Trump from releasing his returns due to an ongoing audit. And because the IRS does not disclose information on audits of citizens, there’s no way to confirm whether or not Trump is actually being audited.
Before the debate, former party nominee Mitt Romney suggested that Trump may have something to hide.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 26, 2016READ MORE: Kid Reporter Damon Weaver, Who Interviewed Obama At White House, Has Died At 23
Romney Tweeted out other suggestions, as well.
No legit reason @realDonaldTrump can’t release returns while being audited, but if scared, release earlier returns no longer under audit.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 26, 2016
“The only reason he’s not releasing them is he’s afraid that he’ll get hit,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Trump’s returns could also clear up some of his more boastful claims of philanthropy. His campaign has previously said he’s given away more than $100 million, though, they have never provided a list of where those donations have gone. The recipients have apparently been shy, as well.
Regardless, Trump doesn’t think a transparent tax return is even relevant.MORE NEWS: Goodwill Ambassador Volunteers Get Specialized Training Ahead Of Miami Beach's Busy Holiday Weekend
“You don’t learn anything about somebody’s wealth with a tax return. You learn it from statements. I filed, which shows that I’m worth over $10 billion,” Trump trumpeted.